Victory stolen from My Song

The offshore race of the Giraglia Rolex Cupconcludes in Genoa

Sunday June 23rd 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Mediterranean
Despite Pigi Loro Piana's My Song leading the fleet around the Giraglia rock at the northern end of Corsica, it was Raffaele Raiola's maxi Idea which took overall line honours in the offshore race of the 50th anniversary Giraglia Rolex Cup. But it was the new Swan 45 of Aldo Fozzarti, La Forza del Destino that took the race on corrected time.

At Levante Island, the first mark of the course My Song had a 10 minute lead on Idea, who was just ahead of Arien Van Vemde's Sotto Vocein the 10 knot breeze. They were followed by Massimo Dentice's Swan 70 Bugia Bianca and L'Oreal president Lindsay Owen Jones' Wally Magic Carpet.

During the night when the wind dropped to 4-5 knots from the southwest My Song extended her lead to 4 miles over Idea.

On Friday afternoon the first boats rounded the Giraglia rock. At this stage My Song had a lead of almost one and a half hours over Idea. The two boats rounded at 15.07 and 16.34 (French time). They were followed at 1810 by Riviera di Rimini the Mediterranean Open 60 of Emilian entrepeneur Giorgio Benvenuti. In 1998 this boat set the current course record of 24 hours 21 minutes e 47 seconds.

On the approach to Genoa and the finish line My Song, driven by Lorenzo Bressani chose to hug the Ligurian coast and fell into a wind hole. Meanwhile Idea stuck to the rhumb line and was able to gain ground and eventually overtake.

At first light on Saturday Idea, the Reichel-Pugh designed maxi owned by the Neapolitan businessman Raffaele Raiola, with Paolo Semeraro at the helm, crossed the finish line in first place to win the Rolex Trophy and the René Levainville Trophy.

"It was a tough race", admitted Raiola, tired after a night of battling against the wind, "but I'm very pleased all the same. In the first part of the race we made the wrong tactical decisions, but in the second part the decision to stay in the middle of the Gulf of Genoa was a risky but winning one."

My Song arrived an hour later and as a consolation prize won the Beppe Croce Trophy for being the first yacht to round the Giraglia rock. Riviera di Rimini, with Stefano Raspadori at the helm, also put up a good performance and crossed the finish line in third place less than two hours behind Idea. Fourth across the line was Magic Carpet with Jean-Pierre Dick's Open 60 Virbac in fifth.

However under handicap the race belonged to the smaller boats.

La Forza del Destino, with Gabriele Benussi at the helm, raced an outstanding regatta and crossed the finish line on Saturday at 12:41:29, just six hours after Idea to take the Challenge Rolex Trophy and the Challenge Bellon Trophy. Second on corrected time was Calima owned by the Spaniard Javier Pujol; third was Bix-Dynameeting owned by Natalio Ceppolaro; fourth Ginger Tripp owned by Diego Zamorani; and fifth Ala Bianca owned by Camillo Capozzi.

Elasped time results:

1.Idea di Raffela Raiola 6:36.31 41 h 24 min. 31 sec.
2.My Song di Pigi Loro Piana 7:34.20 42 h 22min. 20 sec.
3.Riviera di Rimini di Giorgio Benvenuti 8:29.12 43 h 17 min. 12 sec.
4.Magic Carpet di Lindsay Owen Jones 8: 39.22 43 h 27 min. 22 sec
5.Virbac di Jean Pierre Dick 10:10.35 44 h 58 min. 35 sec.

Corrected time results:

1.La Forza del Destino di Fozzati-Codecasa
2.Calima di Jevier Pujol
3.Bix-Dynameeting di Natalio Cepollaro
4.Ginger Tripp di Diego Zamorani
5.Ala Bianca di Camillo Capozzi

For full results click here

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